« Roku Licensing Player Technology to Netgear? | Main | Netflix New Releases for September 7th, 2010 »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c1bb69e20133f3af7aa0970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Netflix Shuts Down Friends Features, As Promised:

Comments

John

I never used it, so I won't miss it.

Jax

"Will you miss the Netflix community features?"

No.

Bad_Boyfriend

The main reason why I'll miss it is that the Friends feature let me keep tab on what was available for streaming on my other accounts. I think it's stupid that IW is only available for the main one.

Pat

I liked using the Top 10 lists and had a few good ones myself.

Scott

I think the idea of community features for Netflix was great. I think few people used them, even in this day of social media, because Netflix didn't put the effort into building it and promoting it. I bet most people didn't even know there *were* any community features. If it had the right set of features, ease of use, and site visibility, I think it could have been great for users and also great for Netflix.

Will Dearborn

I liked it for the reason that it would show on any movie page, what your friends rated it. It was great.

FearNo1

Never used it.

Tycereom

I put in an enormous amount of time creating detailed lists on subjects like Doctor Who, Batman, Godzilla, NASA, and many more, and now Netflix has thrown them all away. Well, I had fun making them, but I'm quite upset with Netflix, and I don't plan on providing them with any more free content, or doing them any other favors.

clint

I often trusted my friend's shown ratings over the predicted ratings to interest me in otherwise boring films. It wasn't promoted or fleshed out, but the loss of the community feature is a huge blow to the service and me not just using the RedBox down the street

Crazy Uncle

I'm going to stop rating movies now, and de-rate all the ones I've already rated. I hope lots of other people do the same. All that highly-publicized money they spent on improving their predictive technology is wasted if no one feeds them any raw data to work with. If I don't have my forum anymore, I'm not going to help them with theirs.

dave

no.

Sock Puppet

I actually spoke with my wallet... I canceled my subscription...

Primarily for the principal of it all. They didn't promote the feature, then they hid it at the bottom so new members couldn't find it, then they broke bits of it more and more so that it didn't work, and THEN they had the audacity to lie and say less then 2% used it while instant watch grew to 50% use!

So now they don't get my money anymore, there are competitive services starting to popup, and if/when Netflix starts to care about their customers again I "might" reconsider.

MattChance

I was saddened when the features started to phase out, but not because of my "friends lists" disappearing. It was more just the loss of the "Notes" features, as well as other minor features of the community. I liked leaving myself notes directly on any movie page.

I know they won't, but I wish Netflix would make up for the removal of these things by making a better website, with more features and customization. This is something they've always lacked. The site itself hasn't changed drastically in years - and drag and drop queues only hurt their reputation, because if you have a lot of titles in your Q, the feature is unusable.

Jlcd

I was just looking for something like this. I won't miss it because they did a horrible job promoting it. I had no idea there was such thing!! I was wondering this very week if netflix had that kind of feature it seems like something very simple and easy to implement. I guess I just missed it.

202466733039

I wont miss it, but I definitely do not look forward to the idiots who will go through and put in bogus reviews just to complain about its removal.

Mike

"Netflix Shuts Down Friends Features, As Promised". And as I have promised before on this and elsewhere, I'm now shutting down Netflix. They went from customer oriented to bottom line oriented while still making record profits. Sorry to say goodbye as I really loved the service. But I can honestly wait for cable to air my movies.

Stan W

Never used it.

MiniMonkey

Yes. It was the single most useful way to find good movies to rent, as I trust the opinions of my friends and other Netflix users who have similar tastes to mine more than any recommendation engine ever could.

Also, I spent a lot of time creating my movie lists and movie notes. All that work was literally thrown out today and I have no way to access them anymore.

I think it's ironic that Netflix is pushing the whole, "Don't worry, your reviews are still there!" angle. Yeah, great, they're still there but no one will ever be able to find them anymore, since there isn't any way now to see every review written by a single user. And since you can't find reviews by users you agree with, you can't vote them as "helpful," so everything will get pushed back in the pages and pages of forever lost reviews.

That's the equivalent of wanting to read Roger Ebert's review of Rosemary's Baby and having to go to the Netflix page for the movie and scroll through every single page of reviews to find it... not even knowing if he ever even wrote one for that movie in the first place. Ridiculous!

James

Wow, unbelievable. I was friends with everyone I knew that has netflix, and would check in weekly, sometimes more often - to find movies they liked and read their reviews. It was also so cool to see how similar your movie tastes were to your friends. Netflix is starting to suck, ever since they took friend ratings off of the movie pages themselves - things have been going downhill. Removing such an awesome feature with such potential. What a shame.

Gran

What was the "friends" feature?

JDJonny

I will miss it. I really enjoyed knowing what my friends and family were watching, and I often got great ideas for new movies from them. I'm sorry to see this feature go, but I still love Netflix.

Symian

Yes, I will miss it. I kept up with friends, had top 10 lists that were important to ME, and now it is gone. I won't leave Netflix, but I'm never storing data on their site again. Burn me once, that's enough. I'll keep my lists and data elsewhere... and I'll never use their Facebook connect for anything.

Ben L

I liked being able to see what my friends had rated all on one page. I just tried that page and it's gone now. So what's the point of rating anymore? I want to know what my friends think of various movies, not random people.

J

I'll miss them, yeah... but its not a deal breaker. I did make use of some of the features, but they were not a primary focus of my use...

I set my (Fraternity) Little up as a Friend of mine. We would often do movie nights, where we each brought our netflix & some beers... As friends, we were able to see what movies the other was getting, so we could try to plan complimentary type movies.

I also liked the list function. I once stumbled, for example, upon an 80s TV show I use to love while growing up. From there, I jumped on an 80s TV list, and found even more shows I had totally forgotten about/never thought to look for on DVD. Or as Tycereom mentioned, I could use a "Doctor Who" list to find which episodes of the Classic series were on Netflix... or the "Zombie Movies" list... Ones not based on just title (thats what the search function is for after all) were helpful. I discovered some "great" B rate movies, re-discovered some older movies I had forgotten about, etc by seeing what people had in their lists... That'll be my most missed for sure...

My only question to Netflix... I can understand their reasoning - they want to focus their staff on areas that benefit the majority of their users... But is there a reason they have to totally get rid of the entire thing? Couldn't they leave it running as is, and just not develop it any more? That way, the 2% or so of us that do use the features could keep using them, and the staff could focus on other pressing issues...

Marcus Friedman (Chicago)

All you need to know about where Netflix's priorities lay can be seen when you type 'Netflix.com' into your web browser. What page comes up? A place for users to log in? No. You get an ad for new users to sign up. Netflix does not care about it's current user base. They simply care about adding new users. That is why they want the site as bare bones and simple as possible. They want it friendly for the average new user trying out their free trial.

The Friends feature was the main reason I accessed the site on a daily basis. For the exact reasons that people have already stated. It was how I kept up on what my friends were watching and what they thought of films I had recently seen. It was also a great way to find new movies that you might not have known of. It was a horrible decision for them to do away with the feature.

Netflix might be statistically correct in that most users did not use the feature. But then again, most users dont do anything with their site other than click "add The Bounty Hunter". To cater to the people who don't care about your site, and go against the smaller group that passionately does, to me shows their true colors. Peace out Netflix. Nice knowing you.

CJ

Nope! Won't miss it all. All my friends are bookmarked and I communicate with them on other social sites. I can still easily see their reviews. Lists were ridiculous, for the most part, so I'm glad they're gone. And the big bonus... the remaining Netflix features seem to load much faster without all that overhead bloat.

Ben L

"All you need to know about where Netflix's priorities lay can be seen when you type 'Netflix.com' into your web browser. What page comes up? A place for users to log in? No. You get an ad for new users to sign up."

This only happens if you are signed out. Since the site has no way of knowing you're a current user, you get a sign up page.

And this is different from any other service, how?

Marcus Friedman (Chicago)

Most sites have a place for its users to log in. You dont have to go to a 2nd page to do so.

Netflix's main page is a 2 week free trial ad. And just that. I dont see why it would be so hard to have a member login box as well.

It's design is not about current users. It's obviously for newbies and casual users to check it out.

David

I will miss this feature. I used it to see what my friend were watching and checking in on their ratings.

BP

@ The Whiners

I'm sure Reed Hastings is hiding somewhere in Das Fuhrerbunker cutting his wrists knowing that he has personally disappointed all of you and waaaah waaaah waaaah your one canceled subscription is going to destroy his empire.

More likely he's swimming stark-assed naked through his giant ocean of money like some sort of real life non-avian Scrooge McDuck. Come on people, do you think anyone cares?

Sincerely,
Teh Meanest Guy on Teh Intarwebs!!!1!1!!

Marcus Friedman (Chicago)

obviously they dont care. doesnt mean people cant voice their opinions.

Toby

You know what's much sadder and lamer than someone voicing their opinion on the internet about something they feel passionately about? The person who takes just as much time and effort insulting and belittling the person who takes the time to voice their opinion, simply because they actually care about something.

Here's looking at you, "Teh Meanest Guy on Teh Intarwebs!!!1!1!!".

BP

I love it when you former AOLers break out that nugget of wisdom.

The internet was made to communicate. That includes the spreading of information, the sharing of ideas and, gasp! shock! horror!, the debate of conflicting opinions. The people who created this thing had some of the most legendary blowouts in human history so, please, spare me the lecture.

I hope this is not too bitter a pill to swallow.

Perkins Cobb

If I had any friends, I certainly wouldn't let them see what I was renting from Netflix.

Christopher

nope only used it a few times. I won't be cancelling my sub just because they got rid of a the friends feature. I like to see anyone of you get a better value for you're entertainment dollars then with netflix. I know I couldn't. I'm just so sick and tired of people saying if it isn't how I like it then I'm not gonna use it anymore.

BP

FWIW, I too think the Friends Feature is a terrible loss. I loved reading other people's opinions and lists and found some great films by using it.

Despite the fact that I am unhappy about its loss I also possess a Facebook account, a cell phone and that most useful of all 20th century inventions, a mass-manufactured automobile. If I need to know what my friends, my friends of friends and even complete strangers are watching then I have more than enough ways to find out.

My problem is that a lot of the people commenting here lack perspective. This is typical of the internet. Sure, my style of debate is akin to kicking a defenseless quadriplegic in the nuts several times while throwing his mom down the stairs and telling his dad what a bum he is, but, that's your problem, not mine.

As is the fact that people are choosing to cancel a wonderful service because they don't understand some very, very dreafully simple facts: (1) a developer/designer/engineer at Netflix probably makes upwards of $100,000 a year (and Netflix has over 2000+ employees, 400+ of which are salaried, so who knows how much the Friends Feature REALLY cost them), (2) even if one dedicated engineer COULD develop the Friends Feature, it wouldn't just be that one engineer that works, and, therefore, spends precious resources on it, as you have to consider the amount of time the UI designers have to spend integrating it into the site, (3) only three hundred thousand users actively used the Friends Feature, and if you figure that they subscribed to the $17/month plan then that's a revenue of $61m a year, now take the churn rate of 4%, double it because I'm fucking generous, and say that's the number of people (24,000) who will automatically ragequit over FF discontinuation, then that leaves Netflix losing $5m a year because of those customers, less than 1% of their yearly revenue, a number of customers which they will reaccumulate in just over 11 days (acquiring 2200 customers a day, based on 800,000 customer growth for the year), thus they don't NEED your business, which leads to my final point, (4) Netflix knows how to spend the money YOU give them than YOU do, and as such, a cost benefit analysis probably revealed that losing 24,000 punters is worth it because they'll reassign the engineers to other projects (such as the iPhone and iPad and AppleTV apps) and gain EVEN MORE SUBSCRIBERS!

Breathing deeply here. In, out, in out. Le sigh. The entire point of the previous paragraph is to demonstrate how insanely reasonable Netflix is and how insanely unreasonable a very, very, insanely select minority of its customers CAN BE, ON OCCASION. Companies, ESPECIALLY those in the tech industry, live and die based on how well they can commit corporate triage. If you don't want to acknowledge that, or if the Friends Feature was really so important to you that you'd cancel your subscription over its loss, then you're just a statistic, an acceptable loss, one of the many who churn only to be replaced by less fickle and ever loyal customers.

So yes, I get it, I'm with you, I think it sucks, but let's not pretend here: nobody cares, and nobody cares for a damned good reason. Gain a little bit of perspective and you'll start to realize why, as much money as the marketing departments might spend on focus groups and test markets, they really don't give two shits what the average customer thinks until the average customer is walking out the door en masse; and even then, they might not care. (hint: they don't care because you're unreasonable, it's why "voting with your wallet" doesn't work anymore)

John

Here's the thing about this whole debate on people canceling their service. The folks who are complaining about people canceling seem to have the opinion that businesses are free to arbitrarily eliminate services -- and I guess businesses really are free to do that, legally speaking. However, customers have a similar right -- to cancel their subscription or membership or what have you and re-purpose their time and money (perhaps to a competitor or some other form of entertainment) for any reason they desire.

If you recognize that a corporation, really just a legal entity and not a real person, has the right to put their time and money elsewhere, surely you would also agree that a real live living breathing human being does, too, right?

Personally, I'm keeping my Netflix subscription, but I support the right of people who want to cancel to cancel. If the friends feature was that important to them, than maybe Netflix no longer makes sense for them after that feature's elimination. It's up for them to decide. And it's not some great moral question that effects us all or anything -- it's a personal decision that's really very subjective and has no particular import. If it makes someone happy to stay, stay, and if it makes someone happy to cancel, cancel. You can always change your mind next month. ;)

FearNo1

I can't believe that I agree with BP here ;-D. He has a point: the people leaving netflix because of the removal of Friends List are throwing the baby out with the bath water. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. It is not like netflix did not let you know about this months ago.

Besides I am more disappointed that netflix removed the online feedback form (or was it an email address?). I used to make quite a few movie addition requests. Now you have to call them, which is annoying and not as convenient for me, but not to the point I ever thought about leaving netflix. While it is not perfect (Epix streaming needs to be in HD!!!), its still the best $9 I spend each month by far.

Crow550

Okay Netflix....

TIME TO UPDATE THE PROFILE FEATURES THEN!

Or can the profiles......Seriously....

What's the point of having profiles if the other users can't know what movies they add are already streaming? Well? Please provide a solution for this.

Either add streaming to other profiles or something....

Otherwise it's useless....

I use to friend the other user profile & look at the Queue on the Friend list to see which films on the other profile were streaming....Which stunk as I couldn't tell which flicks were streaming soon....

Now I'm screwed. Thanks a lot for not announcing that you'll provide a solution for this....

Please explain the point of profiles now?

Please provide a solution......

Okay before anyone says use 1 profile.......

Yeah well if the other party has a flick that is on short wait. Then it goes to the next flick on the list & I get an extra flick instead of the other party getting another flick on there list. So there is an importance to User profiles in households!

Erg....

Anyone else agree? Or in my shoes?

Crow550

I did like the Friends features....I liked seeing other Friend reviews & sending notes & such. However if it's not so popular then sure can it.

I will have to ask my friends what they think of a specific film & e-mail or Facebook em a recommendation for a flick....Which would have be easier with it being built in. Facebook Connect sucks BTW.

However when it helps make user profiles functional.....Then that's a big issue....Something needs to be upgraded with user profiles or just can it all together....Which would suck for households.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sponsors

Third-Party Netflix Sites